Podcasting as a Next Generation Teaching Resource

Podcasting as a Next Generation Teaching Resource

Jenny Ang Lu (National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-190-2.ch019
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This chapter aims to investigate how podcasts can be made to fit into the repertoire of resources utilized by teachers, especially in language education. It focuses on arming the language teacher with a fundamental knowledge of podcasting, centering on its potential applications in the classroom. Podcasts are ideal resources for language teachers, especially English language teachers, because almost all topics imaginable are now being treated in podcasts and the bulk of podcasts are recorded in English. Aside from making use of language-teaching podcasts, language teachers can also incorporate English language podcasts dealing with a wide range of issues to cater to the varying preferences of students. In addition to discussing these points, this chapter also provides suggestions for the practical incorporation of podcasts in language learning and teaching, both inside and outside the classroom. Two case studies demonstrating possible ways to use podcasts in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context are presented.
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What Is Podcasting?

Podcasting is a play on the words “iPod” and “broadcasting.” Podcasts are essentially audio files that, for the most part, can be freely downloaded from the Internet and can be listened to on a computer or any portable playback device that supports MP3 files (Jordan, 2007). When stored in a portable MP3 player, the content can be “listened to as often as desired, whenever, and wherever that desire presents itself” (Gura, 2006, p. 32). Godwin-Jones (2005) calls it the “radio for the people” and the “narrowcasting version of broadcast media” (p. 9). The “pod” in podcasting can be misleading, however. One does not have to be in possession of an iPod to listen to podcasts (Selingo, 2006).

The idea of accessing audio content on the Internet is not new. In fact, both streaming and downloadable audio have been around for a number of years. What differentiates podcasting from previous forms of audio access is “the ease of publication, ease of subscription, and ease of use across multiple environments” (Campbell, 2005, p. 34). Jordan (2007) calls this the “ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added” (para. 3). Villano (2008) calls podcasting a “digital file-sharing activity” (para. 1). What makes this whole process possible is RSS technology including RSS feeds and mixers. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. These are files that specify the characteristics of individual podcasts, including its name, description, and the exact URL of the audio file so users can download the file. RSS enables listeners to automatically subscribe to preferred content and have them directly delivered to their computers or mobile devices when they become available. These files can then be listened to at one’s own convenience. Software that allows for such an operation is called an aggregator, or a podcatcher. Juice (http://www.apple.com/itunes/) are popular examples of such freeware (Jordan, 2007; Villano, 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Podcast: This is a portmanteau consisting of the words “iPod” (from Apple’s popular MP3 player) and “broadcast.” Podcasts are generally freely downloadable MP3 files that can be subscribed to via RSS. The technology is based on the principle of pushing information to a user who has previously subscribed to it.

RSS Remixers: RSS tools that take multiple feeds and re-mix them into one new feed.

iPod: These are portable playback devices that support MP3 and AIFF files produced by Apple Inc. Later versions also support photo browsing and video playback.

Blog: A weblog, or blog for short, is an online journal organized in reverse chronological order where a person writes about their thoughts and interests, including providing links to relevant resources on the Web. Most blogs allow readers to leave comments. Apart from blogs used as personal journals, blogs can also be an effective tool for cooperative learning and research.

Podcatcher: This term is another word for an aggregator, feed reader or news reader. An aggregator is a software application that automatically delivers content to a user’s computer thus saving search time.

Aggregator: Aggregators, also known as “podcatchers” are software that allow listeners to subscribe to podcasts via Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

RSS: Really Simple Syndication or RSS for short, is a method of subscribing to Web pages and podcasts. By automatically subscribing to an RSS feed, content is delivered to an end user’s computer each time it is updated. Content typically includes blogs, podcasts or news headlines from an online publication.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Mark Warschauer
Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas
Chapter 1
Michael Vallance, Kay Vallance, Masahiro Matsui
The grand narrative of educational policy statements lack clear guidelines on Information Communications Technology (ICT) integration. A review of... Sample PDF
Criteria for the Implementation of Learning Technologies
Chapter 2
Mark Pegrum
This chapter discusses the application of a range of Web 2.0 technologies to language education. It argues that Web 2.0 is fundamentally about... Sample PDF
Communicative Networking and Linguistic Mashups on Web 2.0
Chapter 3
Bernd Rüschoff
Current thinking in SLA methodology favours knowledge construction rather than simple instructivist learning as an appropriate paradigm for language... Sample PDF
Output-Oriented Language Learning With Digital Media
Chapter 4
Infoxication 2.0  (pages 60-79)
Elena Benito-Ruiz
This chapter reviews the issue of information overload, introducing the concept of “infoxication 2.0” as one of the main downsides to Web 2.0. The... Sample PDF
Infoxication 2.0
Chapter 5
Margaret Rasulo
The aim of this chapter is to discuss the effectiveness and the necessity of forming a community when engaged in online learning. The Internet and... Sample PDF
The Role of Community Formation in Learning Processes
Chapter 6
Tony Mullen, Christine Appel, Trevor Shanklin
An important aspect of the Web 2.0 phenomenon is the use of Web-embedded and integrated non-browser Internet applications to facilitate... Sample PDF
Skype-Based Tandem Language Learning and Web 2.0
Chapter 7
Gary Motteram, Susan Brown
Web 2.0 offers potentially powerful tools for the field of language education. As language teacher tutors exploring Web 2.0 with participants on an... Sample PDF
A Context-Based Approach to Web 2.0 and Language Education
Chapter 8
Lut Baten, Nicolas Bouckaert, Kan Yingli
This case study describes how a project-based approach offers valuable new opportunities for graduate students to equip them with the necessary... Sample PDF
The Use of Communities in a Virtual Learning Environment
Chapter 9
George R. MacLean, James A. Elwood
Prensky (2001) posited the emergence of a new generation of “digital natives” fluent in the language of cyberspace and familiar with the tools of... Sample PDF
Digital Natives, Learner Perceptions and the Use of ICT
Chapter 10
Steve McCarty
In a cross-cultural educational context of TEFL in Japan, the author sought to enhance the integrative motivation of students toward the target... Sample PDF
Social Networking Behind Student Lines in Japan
Chapter 11
Antonie Alm
This chapter discusses the use of blogs for foreign and second language (L2) learning. It first outlines the suitability of blogs for language... Sample PDF
Blogging for Self-Determination with L2 Learner Journals
Chapter 12
Revathi Viswanathan
Training ESL students in soft skills and employability skills with the help of Web 2.0 technologies is the current trend in Indian educational... Sample PDF
Using Mobile Technology and Podcasts to Teach Soft Skills
Chapter 13
Andy Halvorsen
This chapter looks at the potential use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) for educators and second language learners. It views SNSs broadly through... Sample PDF
Social Networking Sites and Critical Language Learning
Chapter 14
Nicolas Gromik
This chapter reports on an ongoing project conducted at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. A mixed group of seven advanced EFL learners produced... Sample PDF
Producing Cell Phone Video Diaries
Chapter 15
Thomas Raith
This chapter explores in how far Web 2.0, Weblogs in particular, has changed foreign language learning. It argues that Weblogs, along with Web 2.0... Sample PDF
The Use of Weblogs in Language Education
Chapter 16
Nat Carney
This chapter gives a comprehensive overview of blogs in Foreign Language Education (FLE) through reviewing literature, critically analyzing... Sample PDF
Blogging in Foreign Language Education
Chapter 17
Pete Travis, Fiona Joseph
In particular, this chapter looks at the potential role of Web 2.0 technologies and podcasting to act as a transformational force within language... Sample PDF
Improving Learners' Speaking Skills with Podcasts
Chapter 18
Volker Hegelheimer, Anne O’Bryan
The increasing availability of mobile technologies is allowing users to interact seamlessly with a variety of content anytime, anywhere. One of... Sample PDF
Mobile Technologies, Podcasting and Language Education
Chapter 19
Jenny Ang Lu
This chapter aims to investigate how podcasts can be made to fit into the repertoire of resources utilized by teachers, especially in language... Sample PDF
Podcasting as a Next Generation Teaching Resource
Chapter 20
Matthias Sturm, Trudy Kennell, Rob McBride, Mike Kelly
Web 2.0 tools like blogs, Wikis, and podcasts are new to the vocabulary of language acquisition. Teachers and students who take full advantage of... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Implications of Web 2.0
Chapter 21
John Paul Loucky
This study describes a task-based assessment (TBA) approach to teaching reading and writing online. It then analyzes key factors emerging from the... Sample PDF
Improving Online Readability in a Web 2.0 Context
Chapter 22
Jaroslaw Krajka
This chapter contrasts the use of corpora and concordancing in the Web 1.0 era with the opportunities presented to the language teachers by the Web... Sample PDF
Concordancing 2.0: On Custom-Made Corpora in the Classroom
Chapter 23
Darren Elliott
This chapter looks at the ways in which teacher training and teacher development are taking place online. It seeks to address the ways in which... Sample PDF
Internet Technologies and Language Teacher Education
Chapter 24
Sarah Guth
This chapter discusses the potential of social software and Web 2.0 tools to enhance language learning in a blended learning context. It describes... Sample PDF
Personal Learning Environments for Language Learning
Chapter 25
Shudong Wang, Neil Heffernan
This chapter introduces the concept of Mobile 2.0, a mobile version of Web 2.0, and its application to language learning. The chapter addresses the... Sample PDF
Mobile 2.0 and Mobile Language Learning
Chapter 26
Euline Cutrim Schmid
The first part of this chapter discusses the transformative potential of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs), by analyzing the opportunities of using... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Potential of Interactive Whiteboards 2.0
Chapter 27
David Miller, Derek Glover
This chapter summarizes the work underway to chart, critically evaluate, and systematize the introduction of interactive whiteboards (IWB) into... Sample PDF
Interactive Whiteboards in the Web 2.0 Classroom
Chapter 28
Samuel Holtzman
The process of technological inclusion begins with an analysis of the features and functions of the specific tool in consideration. Pedagogy should... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 and CMS for Second Language Learning
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